According to Article XIV of the New York State Constitution "The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed."
However, this important section that was made to conserve the land has been violated. New York State put forth a proposition that would allow the exchange of protected state forest land to an Essex County-based mining operation and by exceedingly thin margins the proposition passed. Land that is crucial to our state, the same land that was supposed to be protected and remain "forever" wild. New York state failed us by allowing this proposition to move forward. Not only is the land no longer being protected, but it is going to be destroyed and no amount of "restoration" will bring it back to its original state. The vast biodiversity of that forest will never return, no matter what amount of "effort" is put into restoration. Trees can be planted, but it will not bring back life.
This action demonstrates that the word of our constitution has no value when there is profit to be gained. Advocates claim it will create jobs, but actually it will only maintain 95 full time jobs that are already employed. What is being left out this equation is the environmental damage this endeavor will leave behind for the communities and wildlife in and around the locations. The details of this situation are virtually nonexistent in the media; many people are simply unaware of these actions. While the aspect of these jobs are mentioned in one of the versions of the bill, the part about "restoration" that the 2013 ballot proposition mentioned is not present. The company claims there will be an exchange of 1,500 acres adjacent or near to the preserve for the 200 acres of preserved forest. But they do not discuss the condition of these acres they will give the state, why would they want 200 acres of forest if they have access to 1,500 acres? We need to stand up to this tragedy, bring awareness to this cause and take back what was promised to us. If we allow this to occur, what's next? How many other amendments will be violated so a company can further increase their profit? Profits at our expense. Wake up America, before it is too late and everything of value we have is stripped from us.
Below are links to the bill that can be found on the NY Senate government website
I suggest anyone who is interested to also comment on these bills.